The gay marriage map

The graphic above accompanied an opinion piece by Frank Bruni on gay marriage in Portugal in Sunday’s New York Times. South Africa is the only African country of 10 worldwide to have national laws extending marriage rights to gays and lesbians. And as we know South Africa is not the most gay friendly countries. Here’s Bruni:

It was only a little more than a decade ago that a country first legalized same-sex marriage, and that happened in precisely the kind of forward-thinking, bohemian place you’d expect: the Netherlands. About two years later, Belgium followed suit.

Then things got really interesting. The eight countries that later joined the club were a mix of largely foreseeable and less predictable additions. In the first category I’d put Canada, Norway, Sweden and Iceland. In the second: South Africa, Spain, Portugal and Argentina.

Why those four countries? People who have studied the issue note that that they have something interesting and relevant in common: each spent a significant period of the late 20th century governed by a dictatorship or brutally discriminatory government, and each emerged from that determined to exhibit a modernity and concern for human rights that put the past to rest.

“They’re countries where the commitment to democracy and equal protection under the law was denied, flouted and oppressed, and the societies have struggled to restore that,” said Evan Wolfson, the president of Freedom to Marry, a New York-based advocacy group, in a recent interview.

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Comments

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Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

5 Comments
  1. Here in Malawi DfiD has just tied a lot of its willingness to re-open the aid taps to the willingness of the Malawian government to end its discrimination against gays. I'm not sure this is wise as it so easily plays into the hands of the bigots here in Malawi who love nothing better than to cast themselves as bastions of indigenous cultural values standing up against the imperial forces of the West. Is there a constructive role that foreign players can have in African countries when it comes to issues such as gay rights and if so, what do you think it is?

  2. Notice the countries that have gay marriage? There also the most stable and have no civil wars, and AIDS. This is the problem with Africa. They are too stuck in the old ways to try and remedy itself. Look to the normal countries (the white countries) and learn if you ever want to become a real continent Africa.

  3. It’s pretty simple. Have an open democratic and equal rights opportunity country, which includes gay marriage. Without this type of openness and freedom, you will continue to see Africa sink to new levels of inhumanity.

    1. @Michael: I am disgusted and appalled by your comments. To your shame! What imperialist arrogant unsubstantiated drivel you sputter.
      I would ask you to direct us to which “open and free, democratic and equal rights” countries you are imagining that Africa (as an entire continent of course) should be following so that “Africa does not sink into new levels of inhumanity”. But I won’t. You have nothing of merit nor value to say, clearly. Because if you did, you would have analysed that map clearly, noted that only a handful of “white-is-right” European countries and Canada are listed as being open to gay marriage. The map is silent on your undoubted role-models and icons – the UK and USA.

      It is the individual attitudes that are then passed off as “culture”, the lack of understanding – the prejudices, in a word – that is a bar to recognition of equal gay rights. You Michael, mimic the exact same prejudices, only with regard to nationality and race. Pathetic

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